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Center for Quality and Patient Safety

Unsurpassed quality to every patient, every time

The Center for Quality and Patient Safety (CQPS) oversees and supports the quality and safety of patient care across Seattle Children’s. CQPS is Seattle Children’s organizational hub for quality thinking, decision-making, resources and scholarship.

We provide a high-functioning support structure for our faculty and staff to:

  • Deliver optimal safety, quality and equity outcomes for our patients and workforce
  • Work together to cultivate a culture of safety, equity, reliability and of continuous clinical quality improvement
  • Advance knowledge of and scholarship in improvement science

Quality as a Strategic Imperative

At Seattle Children’s, our quality, safety and equity outcomes are a top priority. Quality and patient safety are strategic imperatives in our enterprise strategic plan. This provides the visibility and resourcing necessary to optimize our patients’ health and solidifies our commitment to make and sustain the best outcomes for our patients and their families.

Roadmap for safety and quality

Seattle Children’s Quality Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for developing and upholding an infrastructure and culture that practices and improves upon quality daily. The center is one part of that roadmap, with a goal of greater coordination of services and integration of processes related to quality and safety. The plan describes quality and safety as “defining success by our outcomes.”

We are committed to the following safety and quality strategies.

  • Optimal experience: The patient and family experience is the highest among all U.S. children’s hospitals.
  • Engaged workforce: The culture of quality is inherent in the way the entire Seattle Children’s workforce goes about its daily work.
  • Clinical excellence: Patient outcomes are the ultimate driver of quality work, initiatives and success.
  • Zero harm: There is only one acceptable level of safety.
  • Shared knowledge: We strive to share our expertise and learn from others within and outside of Seattle Children’s to continue to improve clinical quality locally and across the world.
  • Elimination of health disparities: We seek to achieve health equity by eliminating health disparities for children and families based on their personal characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, language, geographic location and socioeconomic status.

Meet the Team

Seattle Children's Center for Quality and Patient Safety team leads our vision to deliver unsurpassed quality to every patient, every time.

Quality Scholarship and Research

Through mentoring and training, we are developing leaders in quality improvement (QI) and health services research. To promote these areas of research, the center helps fund a postdoctoral fellowship and a QI Scholars program for junior and mid-level faculty.

Our Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) program tracks our patients’ health-related quality of life (QOL) as one measure of our clinical effectiveness. Learn more.


Our research and publications help identify and spread best practices. See publications by faculty affiliated with the Center for Quality and Patient Safety.

Advancing Safety and Quality

Implementing care based on evidence and guidelines

We strive to provide high-quality care to all patients in a standard way, based on the best practices and latest research for their condition. To guide our healthcare teams, Seattle Children’s has created clinical pathways for more than 70 conditions and medical interventions. These include asthma, diabetes, kidney failure, sickle cell disease and urinary tract infections.

Eliminating health disparities

CQPS works collaboratively with Seattle Children’s anti-racism team to track progress on commitments in the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. The plan prioritizes the most powerful actions to address systemic racism within Seattle Children’s through 2024.

Strengthening our culture of safety

Our Culture of Safety (COS) Improvement Initiative focuses in 2023 on a dozen diverse projects to strengthen our safety culture. These projects affect decision-making, communication, prioritization, escalation, safety reporting and workforce engagement in our quality and safety work across Seattle Children’s.

Acting on root causes to prevent harm

We are establishing a new Root Cause Analysis and Action (RCAA) model by re-engineering the RCA Root Cause Analysis (RCA) process to be more proactive. This shifts the focus to preventing harm versus reacting to harm.

Program Spotlights

Identifying at-risk patients and improving resuscitation response

The center’s Resuscitation program aims to reduce the number of patients with arrested heart or breathing function and to improve survival when these emergencies occur. We take a 3-pronged approach:

  • The Code team provides 24/7 response to medical emergencies by bringing together a multidisciplinary team trained in resuscitation.
  • The RISK (Recognized Illness Severity in Kids) screening identifies patients at risk for cardiac or respiratory arrest. Around the clock, our team of highly trained intensive care unit (ICU) nurses provides critical care skills to patients outside the ICU.
  • ICU UNITED is a simulation program to train ICU staff to provide high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Staff working in Seattle Children’s 3 ICUs are trained to quickly respond in a coordinated way to revive a patient.

How We Measure Quality

To give our patients and families the best care possible, Seattle Children’s tracks and improves hundreds of measures that span all patient care areas.

The Center for Quality and Patient Safety focuses on a subset of whole system’s measure that we call our “quality core measures” that range from infection rates and patient survival to missed appointments and family satisfaction. We are always asking how we can do better.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Seattle Children’s Center for Quality and Patient Safety, or to join in our work, email us at

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